Youth Employment in Parks (YEP) had another successful season!
This summer the YEP program hired 25 Anchorage youth, from nine different high schools, to complete park improvements throughout the Municipality of Anchorage. This year’s projects included:
- Construction of a neighborhood connector trail in Russian Jack Springs Park
- Building a sustainable trail from Kincaid Park to the Coastal Wildlife Refuge
- Three streambank restoration projects along the Campbell Creek corridor
- Trail maintenance on the Kincaid Beach Trail
- Park improvements at Jewel Lake Park and Lions Park in Girdwood
- Brushing and trail maintenance at Davis Park
- Re-opening an old (and loved) walking trail at Russian Jack Springs Park
- Building raised garden beds at Fairview Community Garden
One of the highlights of the summer was Campbell Creek bank restoration. To prepare for the project, the teens participated in a Streambank Rehabilitation and Habitat Protection workshop with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, and the Alaska Plant Materials Center. They learned techniques for restoring degraded streambanks and fish habitat, as well as preventative measures landowners can use to prevent erosion and habitat degradation. After completing the class our teens took to the creek and put their classroom knowledge into action. We restored 1,400ft of streambank!
Throughout the summer the crew members participated in a variety of education and recreation opportunities. These activities provided them with the necessary skills to become reliable employees and stewards of their community. For our civic engagement event this year the teens helped out at the Anchorage Teddy Bear Picnic. This community event focused on bringing awareness to inclusive play. The teens learned about different features and designs playgrounds can incorporate to remove physical and social barriers so that play is accessible to all.
YEP is a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps member and this year the Corps featured a story about one of our projects on their blog. You can read more about the Refuge Access at Jodhpur trail project here: www./21csc.org/2017/09/26/21csc-partners-in-improving-public-lands-waters-anchorage-park-foundation-at-anchorages-kincaid-park
We look forward to another exciting year in 2018 with a new group of amazing Anchorage teens! Know someone who might be interested in applying? YEP will be accepting applications for crew members approximately January 16- March 19, 2018.